Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV)
3 I thank my God every time I remember you.
4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Paul is writing to the Church in Philippi, a congregation near to his heart and involved in his mission. The greeting is a joyful one of partnership in the Gospel; whatever warts and spots the Church there had, they were positively engaged in what really matters, spreading the Good News of Jesus. At the core of Paul’s joy in this bunch of folks is faith in the Lord of the Church, the One who began the good work in them, and who will carry it forward in until the finish line is crossed.
Are spiritual descendants of this Church still engaged in ministry? No doubt they are, we may be confident of this, even as Paul, and for the same good reason; the work belongs to the One who begins it! No Church is without flaws and disagreements. We are all susceptible to being side-tracked by passing things. Our challenge is to remain focused on the work begun so long ago in Christ Jesus, being heralds of the invitation He proclaims as clearly today through the obedient Church as He did on the byways and in the towns and villages of Palestine;
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:14-15 (NIV)
37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached– 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Acts 10:37-38 (NIV)
Will we proclaim, in deed and word, any less?